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Interactive Ray Tracing for Volume Visualization
July-September 1999 (vol. 5 no. 3)
pp. 238-250

Abstract—We present a brute-force ray tracing system for interactive volume visualization. The system runs on a conventional (distributed) shared-memory multiprocessor machine. For each pixel we trace a ray through a volume to compute the color for that pixel. Although this method has high intrinsic computational cost, its simplicity and scalability make it ideal for large datasets on current high-end parallel systems. To gain efficiency several optimizations are used including a volume bricking scheme and a shallow data hierarchy. These optimizations are used in three separate visualization algorithms: isosurfacing of rectilinear data, isosurfacing of unstructured data, and maximum-intensity projection on rectilinear data. The system runs interactively (i.e., several frames per second) on an SGI Reality Monster. The graphics capabilities of the Reality Monster are used only for display of the final color image.

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Index Terms:
Ray tracing, visualization, isosurface, maximum-intensity projection.
Citation:
Steven Parker, Michael Parker, Yarden Livnat, Peter-Pike Sloan, Charles Hansen, Peter Shirley, "Interactive Ray Tracing for Volume Visualization," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 238-250, July-Sept. 1999, doi:10.1109/2945.795215
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